Posted by Miss_C. , Fri Jul 05, 2013 01:02 PM
Spoiler alert: I'm not sure if there are any details in this blog entry that will spoil the novel for you, so if you're reading or plan to read Fifty Shades Darker, it might be a good idea to finish reading the novel before reading this blog entry.
I honestly don't know if I liked this novel as much as I liked Fifty Shades of Grey. Maybe the novelty and hype is starting to wear off. I got wrapped up in the story in the first novel, and my heart broke when Ana left Christian at the end. But the complicated relationship Christian and Ana seem to have really should be simpler, and aspects of the story are becoming annoying.
First, men seem to fall in love with Ana wherever she goes - her friend, Jose, and her boss, Jack - men just swoon over her, but she's not described as being a knockout (like Elena - "Mrs. Robinson," as Ana calls her - or Ana's friend, Kate). What makes Ana so appealing? Just the fact that she chooses to be with Christian? Because that seems to make other men wonder, What's he got that I haven't got? Ana just doesn't seem especially charismatic. The answer to the question of what Christian has that other men don't have is, um, everything. Christian literally has everything - he's successful and ludicrously wealthy, he has multiple and huge homes throughout the world, he's ridiculously charming and incredibly attractive (which makes me wonder again why a guy like him has chosen a normal, nothing-special girl like Ana), and he has planes and boats and cars galore - Christian truly is a master of the universe. And Ana is shockingly naive about so many things. It's not just that she has no idea what sex toys are. What bothers me is that she is so unaware of the obvious things around her. Jose is obviously into her. He took pictures of her and displayed them at his photography show in a gallery, for Christ's sake! But she's oblivious. Even Christian sees it, but she brushes it off when he points out the truth. Also, I know it's fiction, but does Ana need to be able to cum at the drop of a hat and on command when Christian wills it to happen? That's not even remotely realistic for most women. All Christian has to do is look at her in a certain way or wear a certain pair of pants, and she's a puddle of juices on the floor at his feet. Are we sure Ana's in her early 20s and not going through menopause? She feels her blood boiling almost constantly, so maybe she's just having hot flashes. And she's always seemingly on the brink of an orgasm as soon as she feels the slightest bit of arousal. What's that condition called? Persistent Sexual (Genital) Arousal Syndrome (also called Restless Genital Syndrome) - PSAS or PGAS or RGS. It's a rare condition that can cause women to reach orgasm about every 30 seconds throughout the day. I think Ana has that because it's not that easy for normal women!
OK, that was slightly off-topic at the end there.
Anyway, the second thing that's annoying me about this trilogy is that Christian asks Ana to marry him after they've been together for about three months. They haven't really even started living together because Ana keeps thinking about how long it has been since she stayed in her own apartment - the one she shares with Kate. If Christian asked Ana to move in with him at about five weeks into their relationship and it's now three months that they've been together, why does Ana even still have that apartment? By the beginning of the third novel, Fifty Shades Freed, Ana and Christian are already married. Everything is just so sudden. Most people would think it's crazy to marry someone after knowing them for three months. Mr._C. made me wait three years.
Another thing I have to say is that Jack is insanely obsessed with Ana. He should be locked up. He very nearly has the chance to rape her at work (until Ana fights him off) and is no longer Ana's boss, but the ending of Fifty Shades Darker suggests that Jack was the one who sabotaged Christian's helicopter, Charlie Tango. Christian and Ros could have crashed and died - does Jack believe that Ana will love him if Christian is dead? The ending of the second novel is both very joyous - because of Ana and Christian's engagement - and very ominous - because it seems as if Jack isn't finished yet. Jack isn't even close to being half the man Christian is, so I don't understand why he thinks he even has a chance with Ana, especially when Ana has never shown any romantic interest in Jack. This brings me back to my point about men falling in love with Ana everywhere she goes. I just don't get it. And on a similar note, Elena finally truly crossed the line. She basically corners Ana and verbally attacks her at the party where Christian and Ana announce their engagement. Yes, she's Christian's good friend - they did have a BDSM relationship when Christian was young. And she's his business partner now. And she's a family friend (because Christian's family doesn't know about their affair). But where does she get off? Elena tells Ana that she's not right for Christian and that she'll never be everything Christian needs. Ana worries about this very thing herself because she can't be the submissive she believes Christian still wants (which reminds me of another thing that annoys me about these novels). However, literally everyone else acknowledges that they've seen a positive change in Christian in the time he's been with Ana, so I guess the one person who knows what Christian needs is - oh, that's right - Christian! Elena needs to leave them alone. I was fine with Elena being Christian's friend, and I thought Ana was overreacting by not wanting Christian to see her - especially since she wanted to be able to see her friend, Jose, and became annoyed when Christian overreacted - but Elena has officially crossed the line this time.
Finally, I'm getting tired of both Christian and Ana needing reassurance from each other about their relationship on a daily basis. I don't know how many times Ana has told Christian that she won't leave again - and she's proven it on more than one occasion. He's so insecure about their relationship, even though Christian really has no reason to be insecure about anything. And Christian has told Ana I don't know how many times that she's everything he wants and more. Ana's convinced that because she doesn't want Christian to cane her she can't fulfill his needs. She believes that she's nothing to him if she can't be his submissive, but he has reassured her over and over again - he's told her seemingly every time he looks at her that she's beautiful, that he wants her any way he can have her, and he hasn't pressured her into revisiting the "Red Room of Pain" - that he doesn't need a submissive now that he has fallen in love with her. Yet they both still have doubts. Maybe you shouldn't be getting married then!
Like I said, I didn't like this novel as much as I liked the first one. I still enjoyed reading it because I like the sex scenes mostly. I'm looking forward to reading Fifty Shades Freed and finishing the trilogy so that I can move on to something else. The novels could all be much shorter than 500-600 pages. E. L. James is very repetitive in her writing, and I can tell you that I found at least half a dozen grammatical and syntax errors and missing words and the like in Fifty Shades Darker in one day of reading it, so she's not a wordsmith. I wondered out loud to Mr._C. if the novel was even edited before it was published. But I honestly do want to finish reading the entire trilogy. It would feel wrong not to.
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